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My friend walked into work with a porn site loaded into incognito in the background.

He didn't click it while at work or open chrome it was just a background window.

Would it ping it or anything like that when it connected to wifi?

They have identified logins for the wifi so maybe they could trace the login back to him?

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  • There is no possible way that we could know whether he would be in trouble.
    – schroeder
    Jan 16, 2020 at 20:03

2 Answers 2

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As someone who has monitored network traffic in a company: yes, it will be generating traffic even in the background. I've been alerted to porn and investigated.

I set up operations to watch employees on their laptops to see if they are actively browsing porn at work, and they weren't, but it was in a background window.

Whether the traffic can be traced to his machine/device will depend on the type and amount of monitoring the company has.

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Yeah, modern websites with javascript running in the browser may "phone home" to keep their session alive, or to update page content, ads, etc. So yeah, it's possible, and maybe even likely, that it would have generated some network traffic.

That said, unless the porn is illegal, the IT people probably don't care.

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    In every company I've worked for, they care. It's a productivity issue, it's a malware drive-by-download vector, and it's a sexual harassment issue in some jurisdictions.
    – schroeder
    Jan 16, 2020 at 20:07
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    @schroeder: how can a background tab harass anyone or lower productivity?
    – dandavis
    Jan 16, 2020 at 21:26
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    @dandavis If it stops being a background tab at the wrong moment ... I could why it's considered a liability. Jan 16, 2020 at 21:47
  • @dandavis the context is "does IT care about people browsing porn at work?" Not, "does IT care what's in a background tab"
    – schroeder
    Jan 16, 2020 at 22:46

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